High-tech cameras used to fight neighborhood crime

Special Reports

NASHVILLE, Tenn., (WKRN) — Bellevue HOA say license plate readers are the newest technology for area neighborhood watch groups.

In the Poplar Creek Estates neighborhood in Bellevue, your license plate is guaranteed to be caught on camera.

HOA member Jason Sparks said the push to install license plate reader cameras is personal. “My brother was killed in [what is still] an unsolved murder in North Nashville,” Sparks said, “I saw the pictures of my brother as they followed the car through North Nashville. They were horrible and pixelated, [it] took forever to figure out the make and model of the car.”

Sparks believes a high tech camera could have led to a break in his brother’s case. “If there were more things like this out there, maybe we could get some answers from those people,” Sparks said.

Only two members of the neighborhood HOA have access to Poplar Creek’s footage. Data is deleted every thirty days. Despite this, cameras come with some controversy.

“We had quite a bit of resistance at first,” Sparks said, “People were worried what they were going to be used for, how much they would cost.”

The ongoing cost is small, Sparks said just a few dollars per month or less. Cameras catalog homeowners and visitors. 

If the license plate reader catches a stolen car or a plate connected to missing or wanted people, then it will automatically notify police.

In the years since installation, Sparks said he has noticed a change, “There’s been a steep drop in car break-ins in the neighborhood.”

Sparks said license plate readers are the next step in boosting Poplar Creek Estates’ neighborhood watch technology.

News 2 is digging deeper into the impact of LPR cameras and the probability of them expanding into other Tennessee communities.

Click here to read more from our special report – “Lights, Camera, Caught”.

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